Hartlepool United U18 v Grimsby Town U18

11am  19 December 2015

Football League Youth Alliance, North East Conference
Hartlepool United U18 2 Grimsby Town U18 1 (att 43)

Grimsby may be a non-League club at present but they still have a youth team in the Football League Youth Alliance, and they were unlucky to come away from Hartlepool with nothing to show for their efforts.

The home side might have expected an easier game, as Grimsby have managed just one point so far and prop up the table. Neither side was able to convert chances into goals in a lively but goalless first half.

Hartlepool went in front early in the second period, but Grimsby weren't trailing for long, and within a minute or so it was 1-1. The home side's winner, about 10 minutes from time, was well taken and followed a goalmouth scramble. It was also tough on Grimsby, who'd played well.

Hartlepool's current youth team ground is among the more interesting academy venues to visit. Welfare Park in Blackhall Colliery was, until the 1990s, home to Wearside League side Blackhall Colliery Welfare.

Sadly the club folded before I visited, but now Hartlepool under 18s have moved it I was able to tick it off at last. It's a fully-enclosed ground, with a pitch that's railed off on three sides.

The ground may have had some cover in earlier days, but now there's a few steps of uncovered terracing in the centre of a grass bank that runs along one side.

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